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UF State of the Campus looks toward top 10 status

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:13 am

Before Tuesday’s Senate meeting, Student Body President Christina Bonarrigo welcomed the crowd at the 2013 State of the Campus address and praised accomplishments contributing to UF’s mission to become a top-10 university.

She spoke about the upcoming debut of UF Online in January and the Aim Higher campaign.

“We want to look at higher education as an investment and not an expenditure,” Bonarrigo said.

A hot topic among students for the past year, the Reitz Union expansion was one of the first points mentioned. The expansion will add 100,000 square feet of space entirely for students, she said, including a floor for student involvement.

UF’s latest renovations would also include the revamping of Newell Hall into a state-of-the-art study space this Spring, if funding is provided by the state.

The new center would be open 24/7.

Bonarrigo said more study space was the No. 1 thing students asked for on the most recent Student Experience in the Research University survey.

Student Government’s achievements this year include a central syllabus website, a Student Body president blog that has garnered more than 12,000 views and a movement toward a unified clicker system with one universal physical device and software system, she said.

Bonarrigo announced that this year’s annual textbook discount day saved students about $20,000.

Also discussed was the expansion of free printing to five residence halls, in partnership with the Inter-Residence Hall Association.

The State of the Campus address concluded with Bonarrigo’s hopeful look to the future.

“We’ve come a long way from last year,” she said. “The question is how can we take Student Government to the next level?”

Following the address, the weekly Student Senate meeting was called to order with 81 senators.

The two first reading motions were tabled.

The first, concerning funding for the Falling Gators Skydiving Club, was postponed until the addition of a liability form for all involved students, said Allocations Committee Chairman Davis Bean.

The second, the Senator Accountability Act, was postponed for further review and correction of grammatical errors, said Judiciary Committee Chairman Austin Sherman.

All new legislation will be due Nov. 29 at noon.

There will be no Senate meeting Nov. 26 due to the upcoming Thanksgiving Break.

Also announced was a weeklong drive to collect nonfood materials for victims of the disaster in the Philippines, taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day on Turlington Plaza.

Nightlife Navigators announced it has been working more closely with University Police to encourage safety among students.

This includes an upcoming “blue video campaign” through a partnership with UPD.

The video will take a light-hearted look at common misconceptions about safety.

On Thursday from 12 to 3 p.m., the group will host a Cash Cab-like event on Plaza of the Americas inside a stationary Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol van.

Students will have the opportunity to win prizes like pizza, candy and rides to class on a golf cart if they correctly answer trivia questions about UF and safety.

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 11/20/2013 under the headline "State of Campus looks toward top 10"

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